I discovered the journal Hellebore — the subtitle of which is “A Summoning of Ancient Terrors” — through a Facebook post by Fiddler’s Green Peculiar Parish. And, like so many of their other recommendations, it proved to be a fascinating, fantastic discovery, filled with wonderful artwork and thought-provoking articles.
This particular issue of Hellebore is devoted to the presence of nature Gods in British history, architecture, and literature; while the focus is on Pan, there is also discussion of Cernunnos, Glycon, Diana, and others. When this issue arrived in the mail, I picked it up and dove right in.
First, in addition to the wonderful collages, there are silhouette illustrations, re-colored photographs, and black-and-white illustrations. This is one of the most image-heavy journals I have ever seen, but the pictures are well-placed, making excellent use of Hellebore‘s small format.
Then there are the articles and interviews. There are pieces on the history of Pan in Britain; the decorative follies built by the wealthy in the 18th and 19th centuries; Pan as a figure of female sexual empowerment in women’s literature; an interview with author and occultist Alan Moore; a history of the Wild Hunt; a discussion of Margaret Murray’s analysis of cave paintings; the influence and mythology of two classic Hammer films; and the darker side of the Fair Folk.
There is so much here. I had no idea there were so many variations on the Wild Hunt, or that there was active devotion to Pan in the 19th century. As an author, I could spend hours digging not just through this issue of Hellebore, but all of the sources cited by the authors. I have added quite a few books to my wish list. I’ve also come up with multiple ideas for new poems and stories.
Hellebore is terrific. I highly recommend the journal as a whole to anyone interested in mythology and folklore, occultism and Paganism, weird fiction and horror, literature and film, as well as writers and artists seeking inspiration.
[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]